Freedom is Outside the Skin
Kunsthal 44Møen, Denmark
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Nanna Abell, Pauline Boudry / Renate Lorenz, Vivian Caccuri, Henning Christiansen, A K Dolven, FOS, Alexis Mark, Bjørn Nørgaard, Lea Porsager, Charlotte Prodger, Laure Prouvost, Davinia-Ann Robinson, Sara Sachs and Cally Spooner.
Kunsthal 44 Møen presents 'Freedom is outside the skin', a group show of video, sound, and sculptural works by fourteen Danish and international artists across generations. The title of the exhibition, borrowed from one of the works on display by the late Danish composer and Fluxus artist Henning Christiansen, hints at the idea that freedom must be found outside ourselves; that without extending into our social surroundings through touch and interaction, our bodies can become prisons. While it celebrates the urgency to connect and live in communion with others, it opens up a question: if freedom is beyond the skin, can an edge be found between the inside and the outside?
The collection of works in the show suggests an affinity between the vibrational qualities of sound, and the skin as a complex, partly invisible surface that connects us to our social and natural environments. Against the idea of the skin as a margin to the self, the pieces on display compose the image of a subjectivity played out in connection to the world; a reverberating interface whose uncertain boundaries soften the separation between inside and outside, nature and culture. The ambiguity of these dichotomies is reflected in the exhibition display, which is concentrated outdoors and in spaces of the institution that are not traditionally dedicated to the presentation of art: the kunsthalle's storeroom, the utility cabinet, a staff bathroom, a bicycle shed, and so on.
The body is a major subject of investigation for several of the artists in the show and, although from different perspectives and through a variety of media, many of the pieces on display have the quality of pointing towards a liminal bodily space, neither completely internal nor external, real or metaphoric. Longing and intimacy, distance and tenderness, touch and sexuality are some of the issues explored by this collection of artworks. The exhibition plays with the idea of the kunsthalle being itself a body, wrapped by walls, doors, and windows in the same manner as the skin folds around our flesh; a body with its own sounds, smells and micro-life. As an organism with its own desires, the institution extends itself towards nature and the public haptically, attempting to touch our senses through the artworks. In this moment of time, when we have just witnessed how swiftly biopolitics can play out on the very surface of our bodies, ‘Freedom is outside the skin’ honours the importance of intimacy and desire as tools to cultivate a freedom, ground on collective power and embodied politics of care.
The exhibition is curated by South into North
The exhibition is supported by: 15. Juni Fonden, Augustinus Fonden, Knud Højgaards Fond, SPAR NORD, Statens Kunstfond
South into North curated the exhibition
New Museum, New York
Kvadrat Art Projects
New Museum, New York